Nissan Altima Headlight Buyer's Guide
- Headlights are the front-facing lights on your vehicle. It illuminates the road to help you drive safely in the dark.
- The Nissan Altima typically comes with projector headlights.
- The bulb in a projector headlight is mounted inside a metal bowl which reflects light through a magnified mirror. This sends a more focused beam of light onto the road.
- Headlights can have Halogen, HID, or LED bulbs.
- A Nissan Altima headlight usually costs around $80 to $400. Prices depend on the type of bulb and components included in the assembly.
The Nissan Altima made its debut in 1993 as a continuation of the Nissan Bluebird line. The name “Altima” was originally used as a top trim line of the Nissan Leopard from Japan. It was introduced in four different trims (XE, GXE, SE, and GLE). Today, it is offered in different trims and powertrains and continues to be a competitive contender in the mid-size sedan segment.
Just like any other vehicle, one important feature of the Nissan Altima is its automotive lighting. In this guide, we will discuss Nissan Altima’s headlight and the importance of having a faulty one replaced.
What are headlights?
Headlights, sometimes called headlamps, are the lights you see in the front fascia of your vehicle. The main purpose of a headlight is to illuminate the road to help you drive safely in the dark. These lights also make your car visible to other drivers on the road.
Nissan Altima Headlights
The Nissan Altima typically comes with projector headlights. The bulb in a projector headlight is mounted inside a projector bowl which reflects light through a magnified mirror. This sends a more focused beam of light onto the road. Unlike the standard dual-beam headlight design which features two bulbs, a projector headlight makes use of only one bulb.
Types of Headlights
Projector headlights can come with Halogen, HID, or LED bulbs. A 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL, for example, comes with smart auto HID headlights. Older models come with halogen headlights. Depending on the type of headlight installed in your car, you always have the option to upgrade to newer technology such as LED or HID.
Halogen headlights are popular because of their affordability. It uses halogen gas mixed with tungsten-halogen filaments to generate a fairly bright light. It tends to produce a great amount of heat when producing light, making it consume more energy in the process.
HID or High-Intensity Discharge lighting produces light using an electric current that passes through a metal vapor. A tube that is filled with xenon gas releases energy to produce a form of bluish light.
HID lights gained popularity because it is brighter, giving drivers more visibility at night. Unlike halogen, HID bulbs do not make use of metal filaments, making it produce a lesser amount of heat. However, this kind of light can produce blinding glare.
If you are after aesthetics, this type of bulb has fewer color options compared to LED. A typical HID light also takes about 30 seconds to warm up before it reaches its ideal brightness.
LED or Light Emitting Diode headlights operate using a semiconducting life source. These semiconductors get charged to produce light particles. This process is called electroluminescence.
LED bulbs are gaining more popularity because unlike HID, it does not produce a very bright glare. It is also durable and easy to retrofit and upgrade. Some LED lights only require ‘plug and play’ installation.
It is also more energy-efficient and can last longer than halogen. However, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, this type of bulb would cost more than halogen bulbs.
How much does a Nissan Altima headlight cost?
A Nissan Altima headlight usually costs around $80 to $400. Prices depend on the type of bulb and components included in the assembly. These headlights are sold individually or in pairs. Some are sold with the bulbs, while some options only include the headlight exterior.
Symptoms of a Failing Headlight
Having a faulty headlight can cost you a ticket. Even if it is not completely burned out, dim headlights can make it difficult to see the road and other vehicles around, making it a safety hazard. Watch out for the following indicators that your headlights might need to be checked or replaced:
If your headlights are flickering on and off, it may be time to have them checked. A damaged bulb filament is a common reason why headlights flicker. It is also an indicator that it will burn out soon. Aside from this, it can also be a sign of a faulty wiring harness connection.
Headlights will eventually burn out over time. If you notice that your headlight is dimmer than before, it is usually a sign that the bulb is about to burn out. It is recommended to replace your bulb as soon as this happens.
It’s a rule of thumb to replace both bulbs at the same time. When one light bulb fades, the other one usually follows. Although some types of headlights are easy to install, it is advisable to contact your trusted mechanic to do it for you.